John Lewis, Raphael Warnock lead Democrats’ final get-out-the-vote effort

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, front, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, center, and Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, left, prepare for a Democratic Party of Georgia get-out-the-vote effort this weekend. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
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U.S. Rep. John Lewis, front, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, center, and Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, left, prepare for a Democratic Party of Georgia get-out-the-vote effort this weekend. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia Democrats hit the road Friday for a final, last-ditch effort to turn out voters as polls show the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump remains close in the state.

Gathered for breakfast before splitting up and hitting the road Friday morning, the party’s leaders laid out their battle plan.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, right, rallies Democratic Party of Georgia employees, on Friday in Atlanta. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, right, rallies Democratic Party of Georgia employees, on Friday in Atlanta. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Executive Director Rebecca DeHart said the party has 13 offices open around the state with 60 paid staffers. more than 2,600 volunteers have worked shifts thus far. Together they’ve made 420,000 phone calls and knocked on more than 95,000 doors. The party has also mailed 472,000 absentee ballot request forms directly to “lower-propensity” voters in a new effort to make casting a ballot as simple as possible.

“Georgia has been getting a lot of national attention this election cycle,” DeHart said. “People are waiting to see if we’re the state that is going to flip.”

If it does, it will largely be without the help of the Clinton campaign, which has made clear it is focusing elsewhere.

But Georgia Democrats are pressing on without her. Instead, the party has tapped U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, former U.S. Rep. John Barrow, Ebeneezer Baptist Church’s Rev. Raphael Warnock, Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin to hit the road for events around the state.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, too, is barnstorming across South Georgia.

Lewis told reporters before leaving for events in McDonough and Macon that their message was simple.

“We’re saying we don’t want to go back, we want to go forward as a state, as a people,” Lewis told reporters. “There are forces on the other side that want to take us back. But we want to continue to go forward as one people.”

 


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